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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wat Pa Klang Non Phu the Meal, Buddhism, Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

We arrived at the Monastery just after 0600, the monks were still on alms round but the ladies in the kitchen were already hard at work. We had stopped at the Wat the day before after 1000h so no one was around, but the Ajahn Mum museum was open and I had got a look inside and hoped to get more information the next day. As I have earlier posted this is where Ajahn Mun was brought  and stayed for 10 days on his way to die and be cremated in Sakon Nakhon town.
Daeng set to work cutting and chopping and helping the women while I had a wonder around and stayed out of the way.
Every Monastery operates in a different way as far as morning meal procedures. Here the monks bowls were set out after pindabhat and just before mealtime folks, one by one,  put a ball of sticky rice in each. The men then set the bowls in front of each monks asana (sitting cloth) and the monks came into the sala. The trays of food were slid along the floor on the mats each monk taking his food, and passing the tray along.
Once everything had been distributed the monks chanted the reflection on food "Wisely reflecting, I use this food not for fun, not for pleasure, not for fattening, not for beautification, but only for the maintenance and nourishment of this body, for keeping it healthy, for helping with the Spiritual Life;
Thinking thus, I will allay hunger without overeating, so that I may continue to live blamelessly and at ease."
This is one of those monasteries where we chant while the monks eat. Here it is somewhat modified in that we complete the chant we bow and leave the sala for the christian. At some wats the chanting will go on till the head monk has finished. In this case my legs were only whimpering loudly, not the blood curdling scream they can sometime achieve.
In the kitchen the meal is taken on the bamboo beds and beats sitting on the floor, and here we divide up to men at one women at the other, while it some monasteries it's family by family.
As you can see the food is wholesome, simple Isaan fare and there are no fatties at this Monastery